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af-frighť, sudden and great fear.
round'ly, boldly, vigorously.
LARS PORSENA of Clusium
By the Nine Gods he swore
Should suffer wrong no more.
And named a trysting day,
To summon his array.
East and west and south and north
The messengers ride fast,
Have heard the trumpet's blast.
Who lingers in his home
Is on the march for Rome!
But by the yellow Tiber
Was tumult and affright:
To Rome men took their flight.
"From the Lays of Ancient Rome.
A mile around the city,
The throng stopped up the ways; A fearful sight it was to see
Through two long nights and days.
Now from the rock Tarpeian,
Could the wan burghers spy The line of blazing villages
Red in the midnight sky.
They sat all night and day,
With tidings of dismay.
They held a council standing
Before the river-gate ;
For musing or debate.
"The bridge must straight go down; For, since Janiculum is lost,
Naught else can save the town."
Just then a scout came flying,
All wild with haste and fear :
Lars Porsena is here."
The Consul fixed his eye,
Rise fast along the sky.
Fast by the royal standard,
O’erlooking all the war,
Sat in his ivory car.
Prince of the Latian name;
That wrought the deed of shame.
But when the face of Sextus
Was seen among the foes,
From all the town arose.
But spat toward him and hissed ;
And shook its little fist.
But the Consul's brow was sad,
And the Consul's speech was low, And darkly looked he at the wall,
And darkly at the foe. “ Their van will be upon us
Before the bridge goes down; And if they once may win the bridge,
What hope to save the town?”
Then out spake brave Horatius,
The captain of the gate : “To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods;
“And for the tender mother
Who dandled him to rest, And for the wife who nurses
His baby at her breast, And for the holy maidens
Who feed the eternal flame, To save them from false Sextus
That wrought the deed of shame?
“ Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul,
With all the speed ye may :
Will hold the foe in play.
May well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand,
And keep the bridge with me?”
Then out spake Spurius Lartius;
A Ramnian proud was he : “Lo, I will stand at thy right hand,
And keep the bridge with thee.” And out spake strong Herminius;
Of Titian blood was he: “I will abide on thy left side,
And keep the bridge with thee."
“Horatius," quoth the Consul,
“As thou sayest, so let it be."
Forth went the dauntless three.
Spared neither land nor gold,
In the brave days of old.
a-thwart, across, from side to side. harness, soldier's armor. con'stant, unshaken.
hind, a peasant, a rustic. crā'ven, cowardly.
right, very fell, cruel, inhuman.
sacked, plundered, pillaged. grace, mercy.
sur'ges, waves, billows.
MEANWHILE the Tuscan army,
Right glorious to behold,
Of a broad sea of gold.
A peal of warlike glee,
Where stood the dauntless three.